Friday, May 2, 2014

Think Big, Think God

have been crucified with Christ; and iis no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

If you have lived any length of time and you are like me, you have struggled with  depending on yourself and with regret.  I have shared how very capable I was.  You know I can do all things through Christ?  I thought I was suppose to be able to handle it all.  I wanted to be the perfect wife and mother.  Then, in Gods mercy, He left me fail.  I saw what a failure I was and couldn't handle it.  My life was a mess.  I turned inward.  Oh I prayed a lot, studied my bible, even ministered to others like in small groups.  I learned a lot during that time.  I learned about meditation and solitude.  I learned I could not make my world like I thought it should be.  I prayed about everything.  Not because I was so spiritual but I didn't know what to do with myself.  I had always relied on myself and now I saw I was not reliable so, what do I do.  I ask God.  I was in delusions and illusions much of the time.  In and out of mental hospitals.  I had two attempted suicides from the voices telling me it would save my family.  I was sick mentally and spiritually.  They went hand and hand.  I had a sick weak mind and a sick weak faith.  God was teaching me to depend on Him and not myself.  I use to regret these years but not any more.  I see how God used even my sin for my good and for His glory.

I have hated the consequences of these years on my family.  I have ask them to forgive me many times.  The truth is I couldn't accept the forgiveness given to me by God.  I couldn't see how things could actually be better for me and my family than before I got sick.  Sometimes when we can't see it, we just have to believe it is so because God promises.  I have learned a lot since that time but think sometimes the more I learn the more I see I don't know.  I use to think it was humble to see your sin.  Paul saw himself as chief of all sinners.  But what he also saw was this was the old man.  That he was crucified with Christ.  That he was a new creature in Christ.  He forgot what laid behind and press on toward the goal in Christ Jesus.  He said he had not perfected this but He pressed on.  He still struggled with regret at times, I believe.  

I don't think seeing more of your sin is humility any more.  I did.  Just hours ago.  I think it is a reliance on Christ and not myself.  It is seeing I am nothing apart from Him.  It is depending on Him and not me.

Paul knew who he was in Christ and what Christ had done for him in giving him eternal life and this new identity.  He was identified with Christ not his sin.  I don't think we should focus on our sin.  I think when there is something sinful the Spirit will gently come along side us and show us.  There is now no condemnation for those in Christ.  Our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.  God doesn't see our sin so why should we dwell on it.  We see it and let the Lord work on it with us.  We cannot clean ourselves up.  

We are reborn if we are His.  A lot of people think they are saved because they have tried to live a good life.  We in the bible belt of the south are good at this.  We go to church and try to do the right thing.  This has nothing to do with it.  It is faith and trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Seeing He died for your sin and gave you His perfect life to be your own.  All the great saints of the faith in the bible failed.  They were declared righteous by faith.  It is a gift from God.  It is His grace.  We just need to receive what He has done.

The more we see who we truly are in Christ, if we are His, the more we forget ourselves and think of God and others.  We learn to let go of control and lean on His control.  We cannot know what is best for another person.  Even our children.  I think of the song God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.  I pray for my children.  I no longer want them to just be happy all the time.  I know they may have to go through some tuff things. I may have to tell them hard things. Jesus loved the rich young ruler but ask him to give up all his possessions.  The young ruler could not so he went away sad.  Jesus was wanting him to see even though he had tried to live a good life Jesus was not his prize possession.  That with people it is not possible.  We can't be good enough.  He wanted the disciples to see only with God were such things possible.

  I don't want my children to love each other and God for me to look like a good parent anymore.  I have released them to the Lord.  I have learned to claim Gods promises for them.  That me and my house will be saved.  That He will be faithful to the 3rd and 4th generation for those who love Him. This doesn't mean they all will be saved but that He is faithful.  I ask for His grace in their lives.  I pray for them believing God for His glory and not mine.  I have to trust Him in this.  I don't know how it will turn out but I claim His promises for them and trust. It is hard sometimes to go there, but I just let go, put it on a self for awhile and pray for faith to trust Him more.  My family does love the Lord but I pray believing for the generations to come.  It has been because of His glory and grace and in spite of me.  God wants to give us an abundant life.  He who looses his life for my sake gains life.

God promises to give us the desires of our hearts.  When our desires aline with His purposes and His glory He gives them to us.  Sometimes He changes our desires.  Sometimes He changes our motives for our desires.  Sometimes He goes about it in ways we never expected but if we are His, it is for our good and for His glory. He mades our deepest desire to be for intimacy with Him. I believe He gives us more than our desires.  He gives us Himself.  Sometimes we have to let our dreams go maybe for a time or maybe for good, if He sees it is not what we need, to get us to where He has planned for us to go, something better.   We struggle with this when it gets hard.  But He is not about robbing us of good things.  If I know how to give my kids good gifts how much more does the Father give His children.  He has given us His Spirit.  He does not withhold good things from us.

 God working does not even depend on my faith.  He is faithful to the faithless.  But He desires for me to trust Him.  To love Him.  To depend on Him.  He wants my whole heart.  He is relentless in pursuing me and making His will known to me.  His desires become my desires.  His heart is mine.  His mind is mine.  His righteousness is mine.  I am a new creature in Christ, loved, accepted and forgiven.  I am radically loved.  Oh I still struggle with dependence on me and focusing on myself.  This is when I repent and remember again to lean on Him.
To remember His character and His love for me in sending Jesus.  That He is faithful.

I see I was not asking too much of God but to settle for far too little with the wrong motives.  You have not because you ask with the wrong motives. I was asking for my glory not Gods.   God is able to do more than we can think or imagine. We have to trust Him for what that is.  C.S. Lewis said something like we settle for mud pies when we could be making castles in the sand by the sea.  It is God on our side whom shall I fear.   Think BIG!  Think God!